Axios San Antonio

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πŸ’ Good morning! It's National Flower Day.

  • More below on where to appreciate beautiful blooms.

Today's weather: Showers likely, high near 76.

πŸ•ΊπŸ» Sounds like: "A Dios Le Pido" by Juanes, who performs at Aztec Theatre tomorrow.

Today's newsletter is 916 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Blood testing at pharmacies

Austin startup Babson Diagnostics will test blood samples from pharmacies in its North Austin lab beginning in July. Photo: Courtesy of Babson Diagnostics

Some pharmacy customers in Austin and San Antonio will soon have the option to get routine blood tests with just a prick of the finger.

Driving the news: Local health care technology startup Babson Diagnostics announced today that it will launch its blood testing system BetterWay at select Austin pharmacies starting in July.

  • Babson Diagnostics expects the technology will be in more than 100 retail locations across Austin and San Antonio by the end of the year, according to Nicholas Turos, the company's vice president of business development.

The big picture: Babson officials say the BetterWay system can measure the sorts of things gauged by a routine blood test taken from a vein on the inside of the elbow, like blood count, cholesterol, liver, kidney, thyroid and prostate-specific antigen from a few drops of blood.

How it works: The patient's ring finger is fitted with a plastic device that has a lancet and wings at the top to squeeze the finger for blood.

  • A tube collects the blood before it's placed in a BetterWay device that automates preparation, including mixing the blood and regulating its temperature.
  • The collections are sent to Babson's lab in Austin, which can handle up to 40 million tests a year.
A technician wearing a white lab coat approaches a patient's hand with a small device.
Babson Diagnostic's MiniDraw device, part of the BetterWay system, warms the patient's hand and allows a small amount of blood to be collected. Photo: Courtesy of Babson Diagnostics

Between the lines: Babson's promise to deliver results with a small sample of blood may sound familiar.

  • It was the promise made by Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former CEO of blood-testing company Theranos who is serving a sentence of 11 years and three months for conspiracy and fraud against some investors.

What they're saying: The company is leaning into the comparison and will be able to deliver what Theranos couldn't, according to founder and chief operating officer Eric Olson.

  • Olson said they knew early on that Theranos' vision of shrinking a laboratory "was not the road to success for routine testing."

Read the rest

2. 🌺 Where to find wildflowers

Bluebonnets at the San Antonio Botanical Garden last year. Photo: Megan Stringer/Axios

The beginning of what's expected to be a beautiful wildflower season in our neck of Texas is upon us.

The latest: Some home gardeners and eager onlookers have probably already spotted some bluebonnets and other wildflowers cropping up in their yards or around town.

  • But April is typically the peak wildflower month.

Catch up quick: We've finally seen enough rainfall to encourage wildflower growth this spring.

Zoom in: We rounded up some great spots to see wildflowers around San Antonio and the Hill Country.

  • Along U.S. 281: As soon as you cross over Loop 1604 and head north into the Hill Country, the roadside gets much more beautiful.
  • The San Antonio Botanical Garden: You don't have to leave the city for a great show of bluebonnets.
  • Wildseed Farms: This wildflower farm and vineyard in Fredericksburg is always a good bet.
  • The Willow City Loop north of Fredericksburg through the Hill Country.
  • Around the San Antonio Missions: You can sometimes find bluebonnet, Indian blanket, baby blue eyes and Turk's cap.
  • Local parks: McAllister, Eisenhower, Friedrich Wilderness and Government Canyon parks are all safe bets for wildflower hunting.

πŸ“© What's next: Do you have a favorite locale or highway drive for wildflowers that we didn't list? A photo you want to share?

  • Hit reply and let us know!

Worthy of your time: This beautiful, statewide guide to wildflowers from Texas Highways.

Share with a flower-loving friend

3. Inside the Loop

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

βš–οΈ The former San Antonio police officer accused of shooting 17-year-old Erik Cantu in 2022 was denied a request for a change of venue. (Express-News πŸ”’)

πŸ—£οΈ Eduardo "Eddie" Vega is the city's new poet laureate. He will serve until March 2027. (Department of Arts and Culture)

πŸ§‘β€βš–οΈ The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Castle Hills resident Sylvia Gonzalez's First Amendment retaliation case yesterday. It could take months to issue a decision. (KSAT)

4. Weekender guide: Concerts, comedy and more

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🌷 Take advantage of extended hours, beautiful spring blooms and music at the San Antonio Botanical Garden's LUSH: Jazz and Jamboree from 7-10pm tonight.

  • Your first drink is on the house.

πŸ•ΊπŸ» Find your camisa negra for the Juanes concert at Aztec Theatre tomorrow. Doors open at 8pm.

πŸ¦‹ Experience the zoo's annual Monarch Fest on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm, featuring giveaways and special programming.

🌽 It's corn! The San Antonio Roasted Corn Festival, that is, celebrating everything elote on the far East Side from 10am to 7pm Saturday.

🎢 Didn't catch Gloria Trevi at the Besame Mucho Festival? Catch her at the Freeman Coliseum Saturday at 8pm.

πŸ’ƒπŸ» Dance with Don Omar at the Frost Bank Center at 8pm Sunday.

πŸ₯˜ Sample the tastes of Spain at the Paella Challenge at Mission County Park at noon Sunday.

More events

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5. Your thrifting favorites

Springtime is thrifting time. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

We recently asked you about your favorite thrift shops in San Antonio, as spring cleaning kicks into high gear across the city.

Why it matters: Bringing new life into used clothes, accessories and housewares is a fun exercise in style and good for the environment, as our Axios Chicago colleague pointed out recently.

  • Plus, it's often more affordable, and many thrift stores donate proceeds to great causes.

Here are some spots you recommended:

  • Assistance League of San Antonio on West Avenue near I-10. Recommended by readers Liz J. and Don M., who say it's clean and inexpensive.
  • Grey Moon Vintage on Broadway near Brackenridge Park. Reader Daniel R. says it has the coolest thrift clothing and items inside an Airstream.
  • Too Good to Be Threw near U.S. 281 and Bitters Road. Reader Toni R. W. says this giant space has clothing, furniture and more β€” a great place to both shop and donate.

Another suggestion

Thanks to our editor Chloe Gonzales and copy editors Steven Patrick and Yasmeen Altaji.

πŸ› Madalyn is excited to shop Le Creuset's Factory to Table Sale this weekend.

😊 Megan is thankful to have some time off and be on her way to California for a wedding this weekend.